Coronavirus outbreak has emerged as a global health emergency. As of now, coronavirus has claimed around 3000 lives, and more than 89,000 people have been affected. As per an unreleased report, obtained by The Washington Post from the State Department, several conspiracy theories on the origin of coronavirus are now floating on Twitter.
In a period of three months, over 2 million tweets have been made which are promoting conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 virus. One of the theories claims that coronavirus has been developed by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or it was a result of a bioweapon.
Various Conspiracy Theories On Coronavirus
CNN reported that last month, a man was arrested from inner Mongolia for ten days and was fined $71 for spreading the conspiracy theory, which stated that the US created coronavirus to use it as a bioweapon.
The Washington Post reports that the US government found more than seven similar hoaxes being spread via tweets. Some misguiding tweets also claimed that coronavirus is a result of “inauthentic and coordinated activity.” It said that foreign governments are intentionally trying to spread fear regarding the international health emergency.
One of the versions of conspiracy theories says that coronavirus was created in the labs of Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is a government-affiliated Chinese Science Institute.
Another version claims that the patient zero who contracted coronavirus belonged to the same institute. A similar freaky theory claimed that the labs were working to make bioweapons for the Chinese military and the virus got leaked due to a mistake.
Scientists all over the world have rejected such conspiracy theories related to the coronavirus outbreak. 27 well known public health scientists issued a joint statement that said they stand together against all conspiracy theories and strongly condemn them. Their comment was published in a medical journal named The Lancet on February 19.
As per the commoner’s response on social media, everyone wants that people should avoid spreading any rumors or hoaxes related to coronavirus. As per the situation, people are considering all the rumors as truth.
Role Of Social Media
Twitter officials have issued any statement on the issue. But it is working with federal officials to combat coronavirus conspiracy theories.
However, these reports clearly show how coronavirus conspiracy theories and hoaxes are emerging out on a huge scale. It also shows how social media platforms are playing a crucial role in the spreading of misinformation. The speed at which fake news and conspiracy theories are spreading has outclassed the virus itself.